What-Older-California-Workers-Need-to-Know-About-Age-Discrimination-in-the-Workplace.jpg (2149×1159)Because making ends meet is challenging for many older Americans today, it’s becoming more and more common for older workers to continue working past retirement age. Unfortunately, many employees who are age 40 and older suffer from discrimination from their employers, simply because they’re older. Besides draining your finances, being discriminated at your job because of your age can also be mentally and emotionally stressful for both you and your family.

An employer judging older workers solely on their age and not their skills is not only wrong, but it’s also illegal. If you’re an employee who’s at least 40 years of age and feels you’ve been a victim of age discrimination in the workplace, here’s what you need to know and do.

Common Examples of Age Discrimination in a Workplace

One of the most common examples of workplace age discrimination, also known as ageism, is advertising a position that states that it’s looking for people in a specific age range. Another example is only offering younger workers the opportunity to participate in educational opportunities or training classes.

What’s more, if an employer hires a younger job applicant for a position over an older, more qualified person, this is also considered a discriminatory action. Sometimes, employers use subtle ways to discriminate against older workers, such as encouraging older employees to retire or executing layoffs that target older people.

What to Do If You’re a Victim

If you believe you’ve been victimized at work because of your age, first try to negotiate with your employer by using your company’s grievance system. Often, workers with solid proof of age bias are successful in settling out of court. Collecting evidence of age discrimination typically entails keeping emails and documented records of statements made by your employer that seem unfair.

But if you feel you have to go court, file a charge with the federal EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Don’t procrastinate in filing your charge as it’s best to file within 180 days from the date of the time that a discriminatory action occurred.

After contacting your employer about the charge and examining your case, the EEOC will decide if your charge is strong enough and will get together with your employer to attempt to resolve the problem. However, if this doesn’t work, you’ll need to get a good age discrimination attorney who can review the pros and cons of your claims, besides counsel you on the best path to take.

What is the ADEA and How Does It Protect You?

The federal law known as the ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act) is designed for protecting job applicants and workers who are age 40 and older from discrimination because of their age, regarding every aspect of employment. The ADEA doesn’t apply to independent contractors, elected officials or military personnel. It does pertain to employment agents, employees with at least 20 workers or labor organizations with 20 or more members and state and local government workers.

Under this law, employers are not permitted to set age restrictions for training programs or state a preferred age bracket when soliciting potential workers in job ads. They also can’t force older workers to retire when reaching a certain age or retaliate against older employers when filing age discrimination charges.

Considerations and Warnings

Are you an older worker who’s been mistreated because of your age? If so, you have the legal right to file a claim. Under the ADEA, as someone who’s suffered from age discrimination in the workplace, you may be entitled to receive front pay, back pay and liquidated damages.
Please contact the highly trained and experienced employment law legal specialists at Aiman-Smith & Marcy and learn more about how we can help you. Besides employment law, our California law firm also specializes in class actions in California, consumer fraud and other areas.

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Lisseth Bayona


Education and Background

I am a Los Angeles native and daughter of Salvadorian immigrants. From an early age, my parents instilled the value of hard work and education in me and my two siblings. Their perseverance enabled each of us to graduate from college and earn professional degrees.

My interest and commitment to workers’ rights have roots in my parents’ experiences as undocumented workers in Los Angeles. Witnessing the challenges they faced inspired me to pursue a career where I can help individuals confronted with similar struggles. To help someone in those moments is very satisfying. I love connecting with people and learning about their stories. I believe that dignity in the workplace is a right of all workers, not a convenience or privilege reserved for employees of a certain race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Legal Experience

I received my J.D. from the University of Southern California (USC) Gould School of Law. While there, I served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Patrick J. Walsh of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, where I drafted a criminal judicial opinion. Also, while at Gould, I served as an extern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. As a Criminal Division Extern, I had the opportunity to work closely with a trial team of Assistant U.S. Attorneys on a money laundering case which further sparked my interest in litigation.

Personal Interests

In my free time, I enjoy urban vegetable gardening, traveling, and spending time with my nephew and niece. I also love to spend time at San Onofre Beach learning to surf, although admittedly, I am not very good.



Hallie L. Von Rock

Attorney (SBN 233152)

Education and Background

I moved to the Bay Area from Washington after graduating high school. I had been accepted to UC Berkeley through a program where I could defer for two years while getting my California residency and attending community college, which was significant since I was paying for college on my own. I began working for Randall Aiman-Smith and Reed Marcy in 1996 as an office manager while taking night classes. My first foray into the legal world was soon after starting at the firm when I was ready to transfer to UC Berkeley. Rather than accepting my resident status, the Board of Regents took the position that California residency required a student to be in California “two calendar years.” Randall and Reed took up my case with the same verve as they helped their actual clients and I got the chance to comb through the UC Berkeley library to read their codes and regulations to support my position. In that experience, I learned what is was like to feel helpless against a big organization and then to have dedicated attorneys in my corner to take up my cause.

After a break to pursue my major in art history, I went to UC Hastings College of Law and continued working with Randall and Reed. Having worked together now for over 25 years, we have a unique ability to work collaboratively and finish each other’s sentences. I have strived throughout my career to make a difference in the lives of our clients. At the end of the day, if I am helping someone to get compensation for losses they suffered, then I know that all the work put into a case has been worth it.

Legal Experience

I have extensive experience in civil litigation and class action cases, including conducting discovery and depositions, calculating damages analysis, preparing motions for certification, writing appellate documents, and overseeing claims administration. We have handled several class actions against retailers where plaintiffs claimed they were forced to purchase clothing to wear to work and were not compensated for these purchases, including against Abercrombie & Fitch, Hugo Boss, Armani Exchange, Uniqlo, Dollar Tree, and Ross. Recently, I was trial counsel in a defamation claim against Bank of America on behalf of a former employee who claimed the Bank blacklisted her with future employers. The jury found Bank of America liable, including for punitive damages.

Personal Interests

Aiman-Smith & Marcy has sponsored me in the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon. When I race, I often wear a “Rockstar Ronan” shirt to support research for childhood cancer through The Ronan Thompson Foundation.


University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1999

Hastings College of the Law, University of California, J.D., 2004

Randall Aiman-Smith

Abogado (SBN 124599)

Aiman-Smith & Marcy. Oakland consumer fraud attorneys.

Educación y antecedentes

Fui afortunado. A pesar de no haber terminado la escuela secundaria o la universidad, pude -aunque con mucho trabajo- ser admitido y sobresalir en una de las mejores escuelas de derecho del país: La Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Berkeley. Mientras estuve allí, tuve el privilegio de ser editor de la California Law Review y miembro del Moot Court Board, asesorando en la redacción de escritos y en la defensa de apelaciones a otros estudiantes. Después de salir de la escuela de derecho, en mis primeros años de práctica, enseñé la escritura legal y la defensa de apelación en la Universidad de California, Hastings College of the Law. También, a lo largo de los años, he sido presentador en eventos de educación legal continua.

Experiencia legal

He sido abogado durante 35 años. He dedicado mi práctica exclusivamente a representar a empleados, consumidores e inversores en los tribunales estatales y federales de primera instancia y en los tribunales de apelación. Me gusta ir a los tribunales por mis clientes y he llevado muchos casos con jurado en los tribunales estatales y federales.

¿Ejemplos? En 2010, fui la abogada principal, junto con los otros abogados del bufete, en el caso Williams v. Union Pacific Railroad donde, después de cuatro años de preparación, el bufete obtuvo un veredicto del jurado de 1.670.000 dólares para una empleada afroamericana. En Rivero v. Surdyka, fui el abogado principal en el juicio y la apelación de un caso de derechos civiles que duró 15 años, incluyendo un juicio completo y tres apelaciones al Noveno Circuito, concluyendo finalmente con una sentencia para los demandantes de más de 2.300.000 dólares. Estos casos ilustran el lema del bufete: compromiso – resultados. Hay que comprometerse con un caso, a veces durante mucho tiempo, para obtener el resultado que el cliente merece.

No siempre ganamos en el juicio. Cuando eso ocurre, el compromiso significa llevar el caso al siguiente nivel y recurrirlo. En el caso Rivero, antes mencionado, eso fue lo que ocurrió: el tribunal desestimó el caso -habíamos perdido- pero apelamos y conseguimos una victoria para nuestros clientes que mantuvimos a través de dos apelaciones más. Desde entonces, el bufete ha conseguido muchas victorias en apelación que reivindican los derechos de los empleados y los consumidores.

A lo largo de los años he sido abogado de los demandantes en numerosos casos individuales y acciones colectivas. Puede sonar cursi, o difícil de creer, pero después de todo este tiempo, y después de todas las grandes experiencias que he tenido, mi parte favorita de ser abogado es cuando consigo dar un cheque a mi cliente.



Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de California, Berkeley, J.D., 1986